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Mac OS X 10.4.3 (#5): More on excessive fan activity; Command-Tab application switching may swell log files; more

Mac OS X 10.4.3 (#5): More on excessive fan activity; Command-Tab application switching may swell log files; more

More on excessive fan activity We continue to report on an issue where desktop Macs -- most often PowerMac G5s and iMac G5s -- exhibit excessive fan noise after the Mac OS X 10.4.3.

While we don't have any new fixes for this issue today, a few readers are reporting success with one of yesterday's workarounds: setting processor performance to "highest" in the Energy Saver pane of System Preferences.

MacFixIt reader Alex, for instance, writes:

"I have experienced the same exact problem (fans start revving up when an application starts up). Setting the processor performance at maximum in the energy saver prefs. as recommended by one of the readers seems to quiet fans down dramatically."

Other workarounds reported yesterday include resetting the SMU and zapping NVRAM.

Disk Utility may report incorrect errors when run from startup volume For the past few days we've been covering an issue where Disk Utility generates errors while performing live verification of the startup volume which cannot be repaired (no errors are found) while booted from a Mac OS X retail disc.

We previously reported that this issue is caused by the inability of older versions of Disk Utility to adequately repair startup disks updated to Mac OS X 10.4.3 -- which is still true. However, Apple has also posted a Knowledge Base article indicating that the errors generated during live verification may be incorrect, and hence inconsequential.

Knowledge Base article #10627 states:

"If the computer is started up from the Mac OS X hard disk (or disk partition) and Disk Utility finds errors on it, there is not necessarily anything wrong. Only when started up from the CD should Disk Utility reports of errors on the Mac OS X hard disk (or disk partition) be considered accurate."

The article goes on to say "Mac OS X 10.4.2 and earlier do not allow you to verify or repair the startup disk with Disk Utility. With Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later, you can verify your startup disk using Disk Utility. To repair the startup disk in any version of Mac OS X, start up from your Mac OS X Install DVD or CD."

So apparently, although live verification is touted as a new feature in Mac OS X 10.4.3, the results may not be accurate. Users have also reported problems while performing live verification, including some applications not responding and more.

As noted yesterday, we suggest that you only perform verifications and repairs while booted from another volume (such as your Mac OS X retail disc, another partition, or an external FireWire drive) or by using the fsck command while booted in single-user mode (hold Command and S at startup).

Also, note that the Verify Disk feature in the new version of Disk Utility only works on the boot volume if that volume is Mac OS Extended (Journaled) formatted.

Command-Tab application switching may swell log files As noted by MacFixIt reader Drew Saur, Mac OS X 10.4.3 now adds the following three lines to the /var/logs/windowserver.log file when the "Command-Tab" keyboard combination is used to switch applications:

  • Nov 03 14:34:29 [107] Hot key operating mode is now all but UA disabled
  • Nov 03 14:34:29 [107] "Dock" (0x1d613) set hot key operating mode to normal
  • Nov 03 14:34:29 [107] Hot key operating mode is now normal

Drew writes:

"For the 'Command-Tab happy' like me, this makes for a fairly large windowserver.log file in short order. I have duplicated this behavior on two machines with 10.4.3, and have reported to Apple."

A reminder about ignorable permissions messages As previously reported, there are some new permissions alerts that will be generated by Disk Utility under normal circumstances, and can be safely ignored. These include any messages that look like:

  • Determining correct file permissions. We are using special permissions for the file or directory ./Library/Widgets/Dictionary.wdgt/Dictionary.js. New permissions are 33188 [...]
  • We are using a special gid for the file or directory ./System/Library/CoreServices/Dock.app/Contents/MacOS/Dock. New gid is 0 [...]
  • We are using special permissions for the file or directory ./usr/lib/php/build/scan_makefile_in.awk. New permissions are 33060

These messages will show up no matter how many times you use Disk Utility to repair permissions. They are normal, and can be safely ignored.

More on FireWire problems A surprisingly high number of users are corroborating yesterday's initial coverage of an inability mount FireWire drives or see other FireWire devices after the update to Mac OS X 10.4.3. The issue seems model-indiscriminate.

Generally, the drives can be seen if users boot from an alternative startup volume that is not running Mac OS X 10.4.3, or revert to an earlier version of Mac OS X.

John Rafalak writes:

"After installing the Mac OS X 10.4.3 update on my Dual 2.0 Ghz G5 PowerMac yesterday, I was sitting at the computer this afternoon and got a "Device Removal" message. I checked and my OWC Mercury 200 Gig Firewire Hard Drive was no longer showing on the desktop. I check the connections and they seemed OK. I checked the power supply and it seemed OK. I ran Disk Utility and it didn't see the drive. I check in System Profiler and after about 30 seconds of 'busy' spinning the FireWire option only said 'FireWire Bus: Maximum Speed: Up to 800 Mb/sec.'"

Ark Lemal adds:

"After the Mac OS X 10.4.3 update, on two separate G5s, the Wiebetech RAID 800 wouldn't mount using the firewire 800 cable. One worked for part of the day then dropped the connection and won't come back. USB mounting of the same drive is unaffected."

Another reader writes:

"Used Software Update to go to Mac OS X 10.4.3. I have a Blue and White 450 MHz Power Mac G5. Now I have no Firewire under 10.4.3. Apple System Profiler doesn't even display info on my Firewire bus. If I reboot into 9.2.2 I once again have Firewire. Strange and annoying."

Antonio de Santiago writes:

"After installing 10.4.3, I lost my firewire Maxtor 80GB device. If I boot from another partition with and older system the firewire device mounts with no trouble."

Braxton Beyer describes an issue with a device other than an external hard drive. He writes:

"I seem to have lost my firewire tape drive after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.4.3. I haven't fully investigated this but My backup software no longer sees any device to write to and system profiler sees an unknown device."

One user's iPod is not recognized after the update. He writes:

"After I installed the 10.4.3 update, neither the iPod nor a 250 GB hard drive are recognized if either is connected through FireWire. The same can also be said for a FireWire DVD Double Layer burner."

In some cases, re-applying the Mac OS X 10.4.3 combo updater can resolve this issue.

In other instances of the problem, clearing caches with a utility like Cocktail or Tiger Cache Cleaner can resolve the issue.

If you are having problems with non-mounting or unrecognized FireWire drives or other devices, please let us know.

USB devices not recognized Some users are report loss of USB device recognition after the Mac OS X 10.4.3 update.

AJ Benamu writs:

"Ever since I upgraded to 10.4.3, the left USB port of my PB 15¨, 1.33 GHz, won´t connect automatically. I have had to reset its PMU and I get the USB back to work. But everytime I restart the same USB port won´t work, so back to resetting its PMU."

PMU reset instructions for various portable models are found in Knowledge base article #14449.

Apple Remote Desktop issues Chris Rosa reports some issues with Apple Remote Desktop after the update:

"I've only updated a couple user systems to 10.4.3 so far, and I'm now having problems administering them with Apple Remote Desktop. I upgraded my machine first -- everything seems to work just fine interacting with users running 10.4.2. But on the two machines with 10.4.3, I have serious issues with control sessions. One disconnects immediately when a connection is made, and the other disconnects each time I try to drag a window on the remote system. Strangely enough, I have a brand new server I'm in the process of configuring, freshly updated to 10.4.3, and everything seems to work fine."

Problems with AGP NVIDIA GeForce2 MX cards A few readers are reporting issues on systems equipped with AGP-based NVIDIA GeForce2 MX cards after the update.

One reader writes:

"I upgraded 20 Mac's (G4 & G5) from version 10.4.2 to 10.4.3 All upgrades were successfully except for the Macs who have an AGP NVIDIA Geforce2 MX (32VRam) on board. On startup, these Macs displays one open window 2 to 4 times and the same window overlays each other, the Dock displays also on different places, everything is moving or flickering on the screen. If we clear the PRAM, it helps only for that startup."

DVDs, CDs not mounting Some users report issues with optical discs (CDs and DVDs) not mounting after the update.

Jeff Miller writes:

"After reading the note this morning abut problems mounting optical media, I tried several DVD's in my 15" Powerbook (1.5GHz, 1.25G RAM) that I updated to 10.4.3. The discs start DVD Player, but nothing plays. Clicking the Play button gives a 'Supported Disc Not Available' message. I tried one commercial disc (a 'Nova' episode) and two other's created with iDVD. All three work fine on my Windows XP computer with PowerDVD."

If you are having a similar issue, please let us know.

Problems with pivoting displays One reader reports an issue with pivoting displays:

"I run an aluminum 15" powerbook seated in a BookEndz attached to an external monitor which pivots, and which, prior to the 10.4.3 update, worked fine in portrait mode with the powerbook lid closed. After the update, and the lid closed, the external display screen goes haywire, although the cursor can be seen and is movable. I couldn't come up with a description for the 'haywire' but another guy in the Apple Discussion Board, with the same problem, described it as "blocky psychedelic digital blur effect" and 'scrambled.' I can still use the external monitor with the powerbook lid open, but to use the full portrait screen of the external monitor, I don't "mirror" the displays.

"I've tested it with a different pivot monitor, reinstalled the 10.4.3 update twice, the combo update once, deleted the com.apple.systempreferences file, but nothing seems to work. I don't really want to go back to 10.4.2, but that hasn't been ruled out."

iCal and Address Book synchronization problems A number of readers are reporting problems with iCal and Address Book synchronization and contacts disappearing.

MacFixIt reader Ted writes:

"Since no one else has mentioned it, I thought I'd just let you know that my upgrade went smoothly except for error messages I received from Sync services. One warned that more than 5% of my iCal content would be changed (mostly it seemed to be a slight adjustment of invitation times, and I never use invitations) and another said that my Address Book data couldn't be properly synced and I should reset. I accepted the iCal changes and all was well. I tried to reset my contacts, but Address Book is still not syncing successfully."

Dave Marsh-Pickrell adds:

"I'm having problems synching my calendars on multiple Macs using my.Mac account since installing 10.4.3. I've been trying all day and the synching completes (i.e., icon says it's done), but changes I know I've made on other Macs are not posting to the just synched Mac. I've even tried (after backing up) to Reset Sync Data... (in System Preferences/.Mac/Advanced) for a Mac to force it to update from .Mac and replace the Mac's calendar, with no changes being made. I then tried to Unregister the Mac to for a complete rebuilding with .Mac, but .Mac returned an error saying the Unregistering failed. At this point I'm unsure what the issue may be. These four Macs are all in pristine condition with no third party hacks, and were synching fine as recently as two days ago with 10.4.2."

If you are having a similar issue, please let us know.

Resources
  • resetting the SMU and zapp...
  • #10627
  • revert to an earlier versi...
  • Mac OS X 10.4.3 combo upda...
  • Cocktail
  • let us know
  • #14449
  • Mac OS X 10.4.3 (#4): What...
  • Mac OS X 10.4.3 (#3): More...
  • Mac OS X 10.4.3 (#2): Firs...
  • Apple releases Mac OS X 10...
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